Self-determination is the idea that an individual is motivated by themselves, not external factors, to accomplish or achieve certain goals. Although this term does not sound like anything special, it can actually have a major positive impact on your life.
Many of us have watched shows like The Biggest Loser where contestants compete to lose the most weight. A majority of these contestants have a personal motive for losing the weight, either to find a significant other, to be able to play a sport again or to feel confident in their own skin.
Rarely, do you hear the contestants say that they are on the show because someone told them they need to lose weight. The contestants who are the most successful are the ones who are doing it for themselves.
Self-determination plays a huge role in the path we take in life.
Set a Goal
It starts with creating a set of goals that you want to accomplish. Once you have those goals, you are more likely to stay focused and work hard to accomplish those goals. Since the goals are things that you want to achieve, you will be excited to wake up everyday and work towards things that get you excited. When you do things that you want to do, you are likely to be happier. According to the University of California, Berkeley, a 2005 study “found that happiness predicts lower heart rate and blood pressure.” The study also found that “the happiest participants had 23 percent lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than the least happy.” All of this starts with doing things that you want to do.
Being a college student, I have immersed myself in clubs, activities, and organizations that relate to my future life goals. The activities that I dedicate my time to are ones that I enjoy and that make me feel productive and fulfilled. The classes that I take are ones where I am able to learn about intriguing concepts that will help me to be successful in my future career. All of this stems from my self motivation to achieve what I want to achieve. After all, life is too short to not be happy.